Several months ago, Steve Banker of ARC Advisory Group wrote an article for Forbes magazine called,
A Fresh Look at Supply Chain Visibility. Banker was prompted to write the article after noticing an emerging trend in large corporations. He found with increasing frequency that large corporations are investing in supply chain visibility to improve command centers and control towers.
To better understand the reference, Capgemini Consulting explains that control towers function as “the central hub with the required technology, organization, and processes to capture and use supply chain data to provide enhanced visibility for short and long-term decision-making that is aligned with strategic objectives.” After reading the Forbes article and professionally understanding the importance of delivering critical information in real time, I was prompted to share my own ideas.
Critical Data Delivered
Inside an air traffic control tower, real-time understanding of wind speed, aircraft speed, and the weather is paramount to effective control tower operations. Inside a supply chain control tower, real-time visibility of picks and packs, bottlenecks, and wave efficiency is equally of utmost importance. In either case, disaster is averted when you have the facts and you have those facts in real time.
Companies who are trying to manage an end-to-end supply chain are constantly seeking data from their ERP, CRM, warehousing, and transportation management systems, just to mention a few. Banker admits to a favorable return on investment associated with visibility projects. He said: “The primary way supply chain planning (SCP) applications drive ROI is through improving service levels with less inventory.” Banker also mentions that the more companies can reduce their lead times, and the less variability there is surrounding those lead times, the better return on investment can be achieved with SCP tools. “Supply chain visibility provides the data and metrics surrounding lead times, and then allows lean practitioners to work with supply chain partners to improve and control those lead times.”
I know of many companies who are getting by with outdated reports and spreadsheets, coupled with bulletin boards, white boards, and more – all being manually updated with mostly static and out-of-date information. Nowadays, companies are considering tools that can help them build a control tower or command center that provides up-to-the-minute visibility and makes all their data actionable.
Up-to-the-minute Communication to Improve Your Bottom Line
Wondering how you’re supposed to achieve this? You’re in luck. RMG has tools to take your supply chain performance to the next level with visual real-time performance management. Our supply chain solution can help you react to an event as it occurs, increasing productivity, improving performance, and ultimately impacting your bottom line. With RMG’s visual supply chain solutions, you can display the data where the real-time decisions are made – at the execution level. Data can be made viewable on large scoreboards or flat panel monitors, desktops, and mobile devices in control towers, command centers, or out on the manufacturing or distribution center floor. With RMG’s solution, you’ll have real-time data to keep employees informed and up-to-the-minute on your current supply chain status.
About the Author
Kerwin Everson is vice president, supply chain solutions for RMG. His goal is to educate companies on the value of visualizing real-time performance management. Connect with Kerwin on LinkedIn or Twitter.